Hayden Lescault is a 23 year old 196cm guard from Folsam, California playing his rookie season with BG Karlsruhe. He played at Point Loma (NCAA2) from 2011-2015 and as a senior played 21 games averaging 11.5ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.7apg, 2.1spg, FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 78.7%. In his junior season he won the NCAA 2 title and played : 30 games: 16.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.8apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 72.5%. He spoke to German Hoops before the playoff series against Rechklingshausen
Hayden, thanks for talking to German Hoops. A big crunch time win against Ehingen to end the regular season. How good did it feel to get them back after they won the first meeting 76-67?
It felt great to get a little revenge on those guys and it’s always nice to win the last game of the season heading into playoffs. Especially a win against a strong team like Ehingen.
What was ultimately key in crunch time for BG Karlsruhe coming away with another victory?
Well we’ve played in a lot of close games this year and we have been able to pull out wins in most. I think the experience that we’ve picked up as team from those games helps keep us poise and confident in the fourth quarter of close games.
Since we last spoke, BG Karlsruhe finished the season with a 19-3- record. How has the team grown since the 77-70 loss in Frankfurt?
Everyone has stepped up their game and we are really playing well as a team. Also, the way we are committing to defense has been important down the stretch.
What really stands out in this stretch was the ability to continue to win tight games which you did 5 times since the loss in Frankfurt. Is it only the vast experience that the team has that gives you this ability?
Yeah the experience plays a big part in that and we also have a lot of guys who are reliable down the stretch. We all have trust in each other and I think that really helps in crunch time.
BG Karlsruhe has also been able to keep this healthy balance of consistent offense and defense. Do you believe just having this veteran presence all season long has given the younger guys added self confidence which in turn has sparked their play?
Absolutely, the young guys have been improving all year long and have been a big factor in helping the team get to where we are.
How valuable was the pick up of Paul Brotherson as added insurance and energy from the bench?
Paul had been a great pick up for us. He’s a very efficient player and helps us at both ends of the floor. Being a former BG player, he came in already knowing the culture around here and most of the players so it was a smooth transition getting him used to playing with this team.
How hungry is the veteran trio of Marcus Smallwood, Jeremy Black and Rouven Roessler to show basketball Germany that they still have what it takes to take a team up another level?
They are extremely determined to move up. They have all proven that they are still some of the top players in the league and their leadership has been critical. They constantly remind the team that the playoffs are a whole other monster so we can never get complacent with our #1 seed.
As a rookie your averaging 14,1ppg, 3,2rpg and 2,6apg while shooting 35% from outside. How happy have you been with your rookie season?
This has been a good start for me. Coming overseas you never really know what to expect, but Karlsruhe has been a great place to start my career and to help lead a team to the top record in the league is just icing on the cake.
Did the end of the regular season in a long season somewhat play with your body as your didn´t finish as strong in the scoring department?
No not really, my body feels great but there were a couple games there toward the end where some other guys had it going so I didn’t need to try to do a whole lot of scoring.
Since the loss in Frankfurt where you went 5/5 from outside, you have been struggling from downtown. Except for a 3/5 shooting night against Leipzig, your shooting 7/28 since the Frankfurt loss. With 2 weeks between games, will there be a new Hayden Lescault from downtown in game one against Recklingshausen?
Absolutely. I have a lot of confidence in my shot and in these two weeks I’ll have plenty of time to get a lot of reps up.
What kind of role do you want to play in the playoffs? Do you see yourself stepping up your game even more?
I don’t think the way we play as a team will change much at all because it has been working all year long. So for me, I’m just planning to come out with a lot of energy and I’ll step up my game if that’s what the team needs.
How excited are you to be playing an unknown team like Reckilingshausen that you haven´t seen yet this season?
I can’t wait.
BG Karlsruhe better not take Recklingshausen lighty even if they finished in eighth with a record of 9-13. They finished the season with a 4 game winning streak and have some real good players with Robert Franklin, Joe Kennerly and Cavel Witter. What will be key in getting to the next round?
Not taking them lightly, playing to our strengths, and execution.
Some of the older NBA players that played at different times are having a hard time giving Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors credit for their success saying they might not have had that success 20-30 years ago. Are these former players just jealous or why can´t they just give credit where it´s due?
They’re not jealous… they are crazy. Steph Curry is unreal!
Recently ESPN made a top 100 greatest NBA players of alltime poll putting Lebron at #3 before legends Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and BIll Russell. Do you see that as being justified?
I do, LeBron is one of a kind.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Hayden for the chat.